William Gibson: What’s the Future of Science Fiction?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 17, 2008 in Pulp Fiction |

William Gibson, Science Fiction author

There’s a wonderful series of articles in the latest New Scientist magazine on the future of the science fiction genre which features quite a few well know authors on the subject including William Gibson:

Sci-fi special: William Gibson

“The Future of Science Fiction? We’re living in it. Those “Future History” charts in the back of every Robert A Heinlein paperback, when I was about 14, had the early 21st century tagged as the “Crazy Years”. He had an American theocratic dictatorship happening about then. I hope we miss that one. Otherwise, I’m assuming these are those years.

The thing called science fiction that we do with literature will always be with us. The genre we’ve called science fiction since about 1927, maybe not so much. That’s something to do with the nature of genres, though, and nothing to do with the nature of science fiction.

The single most useful thing I’ve learned from science fiction is that every present moment, always, is someone else’s past and someone else’s future. I got that as a child in the 1950s, reading science fiction written in the 1940s; reading it before I actually knew much of anything about the history of the 1940s or, really, about history at all. I literally had to infer the fact of the second world war, reverse-engineering my first personal iteration of 20th-century history out of 1940s science fiction. I grew up in a monoculture – one I found highly problematic – and science fiction afforded me a degree of lifesaving cultural perspective I’d never have had otherwise. I hope it’s still doing that, for people who need it that way, but these days lots of other things are doing that as well.”

The same series also features Margaret Atwood, Stephen Baxter, Ursula K Le Guin, Kim Stanley Robinson and Nick Sagan.

Tags: ,





Comments are closed.

 

Copyright © 2020 Fanboy.com All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek.